Jamaican Ackee
It's Versatility and History

subscribe here if new
Custom Search




jamaican ackee

Jamaican Ackee, contributed

According to one writer, if there was a code word for all Jamaicans it probably would be Ackee. Not only is ackee a key ingredient our national dish - 'ackee and saltfish', it is also officially the national fruit and a national symbol of Jamaica.

Jamaican Ackee and SaltFish Dish

The tree is not endemic to the Caribbean but rather, was introduced from West Africa in the 18th century during the slave trade. Its name is derived from the West African Akye fufo.

It was first introduced to Jamaica, then later to Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Barbados and others. It was subsequently introduced to Florida in the United States.

The plant was named Blighia sapida in honour of Captain William Bligh who, in 1793, took samples to Kew Gardens in South London.

Ackee trees are found all across Jamaica. There are two bearing seasons: between January to March and June to August- although my yard tree appears to bear right throughout the year!

The fruit turns red on reaching maturity and splits open with continued exposure to the sun.

Traditionally it is at this time that the ackees are harvested and the edible portion (the arilli) removed and cleaned in preparation for cooking.

This delicacy is enjoyed by many at breakfast or as an entree. Along with saltfish (cod) used in our national dish, Jamaican ackee is a favourite for many when served with pork, salted mackerel, tinned mackerel, etc.

There is now also ackee quiche, ackee stuffed peppers, cream of ackee soup, ackee stuffed chicken leg, ackee pizza, and the now - increasingly popular ackee punch!

The canned product is exported to ethnic markets worldwide and continues to be enjoyed by both visitors to the island and Jamaicans residing overseas.

ackee tree in jamaica

Ackees on tree in Jamaica

In terms other uses, the oil of the ackee arils contains many important nutrients, especially fatty acids. Linoleic, palmitic and stearic acids are the primary fatty acids found in the fruit.

The dried seeds, fruit bark and leaves are used medicinally while the fruit is used to produce soap in some parts of Africa.

In 2006, one of our local communities, Linstead in St. Catherine, hosted the Inaugural Ackee Festival, where all types and varieties of preparations of ackee were showcased.

So although it is not indigenous to Jamaica, it has remarkable historic and cultural associations here.

And by the way other names and variant spellings include Akee, akee apple, Achee, or vegetable brain!


Return to Jamaican Food from Jamaican Ackee
Return to My Island Jamaica from Jamaican Ackee

References:
1. "Jamaican Ackee", The Department of Chemistry, UWI Mona. .
2. "Ackee", Wikipedia.com 3. "The Ackee Fruit", The Science Creative Quarterly.
3. "Ackee", About.com.
4. "A Book Dedicated to Ackee", Jamaica Gleaner.
5. "Ackee Festival for Linstead", Jamaica Information Service.

Originally Posted: 9/25/2009


Related Pages:

acke pod

Thanks For Reading!
Like What You Just Read?

Great Articles You Might Have Missed

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

And Before You Go!

You are welcome to join my special friends list and receive exclusive updates (like this), tips, trivia and stories from lovers of Jamaica! Just enter...

Also connect with My-Island-Jamaica.com on Social Media: 
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

Thank You!

Need Help?

We have a cherry list of top Jamaican companies that might be able to help you. Please click here to see them, our preferred partners and site sponsors.

copyscpe
Top Of Page
Wellesley Gayle

What's New? Click Here And See

New!  I've created a Welcome Audio. Just click the Play button below to listen.

Please subscribe here to get my latest updates.

SEARCH THE SITE



Site Sponsors

jamaica_click_down_here_visit_our_sponsors

Our Preferred Sponsors (below)

(Our Sponsorship Policy)

Luna Sea Inn
Luna Sea Inn Photographers in Jamaica
Wedding Photographers
Jamaican Souvenirs
Best Jamaican Souvenirs Cars For Sale In Jamaica
Cars For Sale

Click Here to Visit Our Sponsors' Page

Did You Miss These?

What's New?

Below is a list of the very latest articles I posted on the site.

Recent Articles

  1. Car Rentals Jamaica - Top Dealers, Best Time To Rent, And More

    Jul 22, 17 07:11 PM

    When is the best time to rent? And who are the most popular car rentals in Jamaica? Read this Car Rentals Jamaica for more

    Read More

  2. Westmoreland Jamaica - Facts, Fictions & Attractions

    Jul 19, 17 01:13 AM

    Ok, you know about Negril, but what do you know about Westmoreland Jamaica? Here's what you need to know.

    Read More

  3. Looking For Montego Bay Jobs? Here Are The Top Job Openings Right Now

    Jul 18, 17 12:45 PM

    What are the top Montego Bay jobs? Here is my take - plus a list of the top jobs in Montego Bay Jamaica

    Read More

  4. Easy Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Recipe - Plus The Best Ready Made Options

    Jul 17, 17 12:54 AM

    Here's how to make Jamaican jerk seasoning from scratch, plus our recommendations on the best ready made ones

    Read More